Election Night 2017 from a Virginian

My “Starbucks at 8:00 on a work night” idea was supposed to be so I could stay up to watch the election results. Now it’s a celebration that my state seems like it’s going to be the bellwether for rejecting Trumpism.

Right now in Virginia, they have called Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General for the Democrat. We’ve also elected the first transgender woman to a state legislature, Danica Roem, and the 26-year House GOP Whip got beat by a Democratic Socialist.


I’m hoping the roadmap from here is “call out blatant racial animus as a smokescreen for the corrupt ties Republican candidates have to major corporate interests, and focus on an economic message that applies to the working class/working poor”. This was a major moment in showing that running a Trump campaign is nowhere near a guarantee for Republican candidates.


Hopefully this is the end of (mainly) centrist straight White cis dudes writing op eds telling the rest of us that being people with identities other than the one they have is “divisive” and we should stop demanding rights as part of our basic requirements from politics. That the actual “divisive” politics (racism, transphobia, misogyny, classism) is toxic but also not a broad base. Everyone understands that people should have rights, most people know how their rights have been restricted due to who they are; we can build coalitions around recognising that we must protect each other’s rights and punch up at those who monopolise power.


Also interesting of note, in the case of Lee Carter — he had [edit: almost] no support from the state Dem party. The socialists there just gave an excellent class in organizing.


Lee Carter tried running as a dem before and left after realizing how little a shit dems give about actually winning races. Also god bless that weird looking Ron Howard baby face, absolutely destroying a major GOP personality.


I’ve been hearing a lot of great news for the various Socialist candidates. Today has given me a lot of hope for the future. It would be great if there was a real socialist wing to the Democratic Party in a couple years (or better an actual 3rd party in congress, but that seems less likely). Unfortunately, that is going to be a nasty fight. This was a very minor election in the cycle, so voters were only the most dedicated who tend to lean further to either side of the spectrum. The real test will be the mid-term elections next year.


Danica Roem’s election is fantastic, but she isn’t the first transgender woman to be elected to a state legislator, just the first openly transgender woman to be elected to a state legislator (and she also shares that distinction with Andrea Jenkins, who was elected to the Minnesota legislature tonight as well). The first transgender state legislator is Althea Garrison of Massachusetts , who wasn’t public about being transgender at the time of her election, but was outed by a scumbag reporter before she took office. She apparently still runs for office in the Boston area basically every election.

I hate to be “that person” but you can’t let history like this be forgotten! Still, Danica Roem’s election is especially poetic considering who she defeated to get her seat. Virginia, you done good tonight!


EDIT: Oh oops, I missed another openly transgender woman who won an election to a state legislature: Stacie Laughton won a New Hampshire house race in 2012 never took office over outcry that she didn’t disclose a felony conviction in her past.

EDIT 2: I made a mistake, Andrea Jenkins was elected to the Minneapolis City Council. Her milestone is being the first openly transgender woman of color to be elected to public office in the United States.


It’s cool, be that person! I was just going by what’s been on Twitter. The context you provided is pretty devastating, and makes me nervous about what kind of shenanigans the VA GOP might end up trying.

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Given how many of us cis folk either don’t seem to pay attention or, more charitably, just don’t know the history, being “that person” to inform and remind others that trans people have always been in politics is entirely welcome. I didn’t know any of the politicians you named and had believed the “first trans woman to be elected to a state legislator” statement about Roem. The context is welcome!

What happened in Virginia does give me hope, but I’m hesitant to grasp it too tightly. Like, the midterm elections are still a year away. In fact, it’s only just now a full year since the presidential election. Though it feels like it’s been 4 already. A lot can happen.

Still, even if the Democratic party doesn’t get its shit together, seeing people like Lee Carter win on a campaign without major party support is inspiring. Same with Roem’s win. Trumpism may be more palatable to some when it’s not delivered by 45. But it’s also no guarantee of victory. Good.

I know that this might not be a great indicator for national politics in the years to come, but I still can’t help but be stupidly happy about the results. Danica Roem beating Marshall has just made my entire week. That fucking transphobe and the GOP literally ran ads that mis-gendered her, and they got crushed by her. It’s very rare that it feels like something just happens in American politics, but Roem winning was definitely one of those rare times.


It IS a great indicator of national politics though, the entire VA House of Delegates results are harbingers of what’s going to happen everywhere if the GOP doesn’t get way more moderate faaast. VA was found to be gerrymandered in court and are required to redistrict… but they haven’t yet. Despite this Dems took away a nearly veto-proof majority and made the House even at 50/50.
Progressivism overcame fucking gerrymandering. Imagine if it were a fair layout?


The conventional wisdom is that Republicans show up to smaller elections more than Democrats do. So D wins are more likely in presidential election years than midterms, and midterms more than state or local elections. The fact that VA swung Democratic in a state election should be a real bad sign for the Republican party next year.

I’d like to call attention to the 94th VA House district. Incumbent Republican David Yancey kept his seat last night by 12 damn votes. There’s a recount going that could easily go the way of Democrat Shelly Simonds after provisional ballots are included, which would give the Democrats a House majority.


The sneaky good stat that is kinda low key is exit polls showed that people who have “gun rights” as their number one issue voted 50/50 between Northram and Gillespie. Northram has a “F” rating from the NRA, which means he has been very proactive in supporting and enacting legislation for gun control.

Uh, no

Sorry, I should’ve said almost no support, but I figured people would also read the article :slight_smile:

Edit: and to further clarify, my point was not to dump on the Dem party (not here at least), but to point out what Carter accomplished.